A three-dimensional laser Doppler velocimeter has laser optics for a first channel positioned to create a probe volume in space, and laser optics and for second and third channels, respectively, positioned to create entirely overlapping probe volumes in space. The probe volumes and overlap partially in space. The photodetector is positioned to receive light scattered by a particle present in the probe volume, while photodetectors and are positioned to receive light scattered by a particle present in the probe volume. The photodetector for the first channel is directly connected to provide a first channel analog signal to frequency measuring circuits. The first channel is therefore a primary channel for the system. Photodetectors and are respectively connected through a second channel analog signal attenuator to frequency measuring circuits and through a third channel analog signal attenuator to frequency measuring circuits. The second and third channels are secondary channels, with the second and third channels analog signal attenuators and controlled by the first channel measurement burst signal on line. The second and third channels analog signal attenuators and attenuate the second and third channels analog signals only when the measurement burst signal is false.